defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) , di-ˈfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) \

Definition of defect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an imperfection or abnormality that impairs quality, function, or utility : shortcoming, flaw carefully inspect a tire for defects examined the porcelain for defects a moral defect in his nature neural tube defects defects of metabolism
2 chemistry : an imperfection (such as a vacancy or an unlike atom) in a crystal lattice (see lattice sense 2)

defect

verb
de·​fect | \ di-ˈfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) \
defected; defecting; defects

Definition of defect (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to forsake one cause, party, or nation for another often because of a change in ideology a former KGB agent who defected to America
2 : to leave one situation (such as a job) often to go over to a rival the reporter defected to another network

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Other Words from defect

Verb

defector \ di-​ˈfek-​tər How to pronounce defector (audio) \ noun

Examples of defect in a Sentence

Noun

They examine their products for defects. She was born with a heart defect. Vanity and pride were his two worst character defects.

Verb

The Russian scholar defected in 1979. She defected from the conservative party. He defected to the West before the war began. The reporter defected to another TV network.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

About 1 percent of babies are born with congenital heart defects. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "3D printed hearts and joints? Doctors at UMMC, VA Hospital are starting with models," 24 July 2019 Even if the practical defects of the project could be overcome, reparations simply wouldn’t work. Graham Hillard, National Review, "The Other Case against Reparations," 22 July 2019 Mothers who live near intense oil and gas development activity face a higher chance of having children with heart defects, a study by researchers at the University of Colorado found. Erin Douglas, Houston Chronicle, "Infants with mothers living near oil and gas production at higher risk of heart defects: study," 18 July 2019 He was assigned to help a pre-kindergartener with a spinal defect; she was paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair. Ian Shapira, Anchorage Daily News, "The parking garage beating lasted 10 seconds. DeAndre Harris still lives with the damage.," 17 Sep. 2019 One is defects: every wafer has some, so Mr Feldman’s team had to find a way to bypass faulty cores. The Economist, "Cerebras unveils the world’s chunkiest AI chip," 22 Aug. 2019 Editas Medicine and Allergan recently announced a more acceptable form of gene editing, one that would change genetic defects in cells that don’t get passed onto the next generation. Time, "CRISPR Gene Editing Is Being Tested in Human Patients, and the Results Could Revolutionize Health Care," 6 Aug. 2019 Cantu’s daughter was 2 and had just undergone the last in a series of surgeries to correct a congenital heart defect. Elizabeth Zavala, ExpressNews.com, "Moms keep up fight despite loss of ally," 9 Sep. 2019 On some occasions, these babies are born with a serious heart defect. Azmia Magane, Allure, "What Is Lupus? 11 Things to Know About the Misunderstood Autoimmune Disease," 7 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Brown was able to work behind the scenes to keep partial control of the Assembly the following winter and spring, while Republicans mounted recall elections against those who had defected. Los Angeles Times, "The California Assembly’s keeper of rules and rituals calls it a career," 13 Sep. 2019 Ahmed al-Saood, the commander of a local rebel faction who had previously defected from the Syrian government army. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "Russia, Turkey to Create Buffer Zone in Syrian Opposition Stronghold," 17 Sep. 2018 That fell apart last month after several clubs defected to the NISA. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pro soccer team 1904 FC prepares for its first home game with some familiar faces," 13 Sep. 2019 The prime minister’s own brother defected, broadcasting his displeasure. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Reasons to Bet for or against Brexit," 11 Sep. 2019 His government lost its working majority as one Conservative lawmaker defected to the opposition, and more than 20 Tory legislators sided with the opposition on the no-deal vote. Danica Kirka And Jill Lawless, chicagotribune.com, "Rebellion in Parliament: MPs look to steal Brexit control from prime minister, who vows new elections if he’s undercut," 4 Sep. 2019 Taxi drivers nationwide are facing similar crises as customers defect to cheaper, more convenient ride services. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "‘We cannot make a living’: SF cabdrivers’ debts mount amid Uber, Lyft battle," 23 Aug. 2019 Earlier this week, Conservative MP Philip Lee defected to Liberal Democrats right in the middle of Johnson's first parliamentary address since a summer recess. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "Boris Johnson launches non-election campaign with awkward, rambling speech," 5 Sep. 2019 Soon afterward, two colleagues defected to form the rival agency Backer & Spielvogel. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Philip Geier Expanded Interpublic Group Into a Global Advertising Giant," 27 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of defect

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for defect

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Latin dēfectus "failure, absence, lack, weakness," from dēficere "to be lacking, run short, weaken, fail" + -tus, suffix of action nouns — more at deficient

Verb

borrowed from Latin dēfectus, past participle of dēficere "to be lacking, fail, become disaffected, go over (to the side of an opponent)" — more at deficient

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Statistics for defect

Last Updated

19 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for defect

The first known use of defect was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for defect

defect

noun

English Language Learners Definition of defect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a physical problem that causes something to be less valuable, effective, healthy, etc.
: something that causes weakness or failure

defect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of defect (Entry 2 of 2)

formal : to leave a country, political party, organization, etc., and go to a different one that is a competitor or an enemy

defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) , di-ˈfekt\

Kids Definition of defect

1 : something that makes a thing imperfect : flaw A slight defect lowered the diamond's value.
2 : a lack of something needed for perfection Doctors can correct the hearing defect.

defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) , di-ˈ How to pronounce defect (audio) \

Medical Definition of defect

: a lack or deficiency of something necessary for adequacy in form or function a hearing defect

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defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt, di-ˈfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) \

Legal Definition of defect

: something or a lack of something that results in incompleteness, inadequacy, or imperfection: as
a : a flaw in something (as a product) especially that creates an unreasonable risk of harm in its normal use — see also latent defect
b : an error or omission in a court document (as an indictment or pleading)
c : some imperfection in the chain of title to property that makes the title unmarketable

Other Words from defect

defective \ di-​ˈfek-​tiv How to pronounce defective (audio) \ adjective
defectively adverb
defectiveness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on defect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for defect

Spanish Central: Translation of defect

Nglish: Translation of defect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of defect for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about defect

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